Ladies making it a habit: win 4th straight title
By Roy Starling
After running over Monte Vista and squeaking by Centauri in a thriller during last weekend's Intermountain League District 1 Tournament held in La Jara, the Lady Pirates will host their fourth consecutive regional playoff game this Saturday night at 7.
This district championship, though, may be the sweetest of them all. If you happen to still have a copy of the SUN from Feb. 25, 1999, take a look at the Lady Pirates huddled together for their district "3-peat" photo. Now look at this week's picture above. Who's missing?
Gone from the 2000 squad are Tracey Farrow, Sara Fredrickson, Tiffanie Hamilton, Dena Lee, Tranell Ross, Nicolle Sellers and Larissa Terrell. Four of these girls, incidentally, received all-state honors.
Also missing from this year's picture is 1998-99 IML Coach of the Year Shonny Vanlandingham.
With that kind of turnover, this year's Ladies could have easily settled for a "respectable" season: a top-tier finish in the IML, maybe a runner-up spot in the district tournament. Many of their fans might have been reasonably happy with that kind of showing.
But "respectable" just isn't good enough for this bunch and it's not good enough for their first-year coach Karen Wells. After losing a game they could've won in Centauri back on Jan. 14, the Ladies have reeled off 10 straight victories, finishing 9-1 - tied with Centauri for first - in the IML and 17-4 overall. And if their performance in last weekend's district tourney is any indication, they're saving their best for the post-season.
"They're really playing as a team now," coach Wells said. "Our team isn't built around a single high scorer. Our girls take turns leading in scoring, rebounding and assists. If one of our girls is getting stopped, she'll find someone who's open."
Looking over the season's stats, Wells noted with pleasure a cluster of four Lady Pirates hovering between 12 and 10 points per game. "I really like that balance," she said.
Wells' philosophy this season has been "let's just play our game and we'll be fine." But what does she know about the Pueblo West Cyclones (12-8) who'll be in town for Saturday night's regional qualifier?
"They're more of an outside scoring team than we are," she said. "They're not very big and they like to do some driving. Their best players seem to be two sisters, Lauren and Cara Dunsmoor."
The Dunsmoors are both 5-foot-9, and Wells said she's heard from scouts that Lauren, a freshman, may be even better than her senior sister. The Cyclone's tallest player is 5-foot-10 sophomore post Caroline Ottino.
The Cyclones are in the Santa Fe-Pikes Peak League where they finished fourth during the regular season behind Florence (Class 4A), Lamar and La Junta. In the District 5 tournament, they knocked off Rocky Ford 55-37 and then surprised always tough Lamar 74-58.
The Lady Pirates take a No. 6 seeding into regionals, while the Cyclones are pegged at No. 11.
The stakes are pretty high for regional games. The winner advances to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for the Class 3A State Tournament beginning next Thursday. The losers turn in their uniforms for the season. The Ladies have the trip to the Springs pretty much memorized by now, having gone each of the last three years. For Pueblo West, however, this is all new terrain. The school has only been in existence for three years.
While the Lady Pirates are trying to advance by winning at home, their friends from La Jara will be on the road. Centauri will travel to Colorado Springs to face Colorado Christian, seeded third in the state with a flawless 19-0 record. Pagosa fans, however, will not be surprised to see the Lady Falcons pull an upset.
Admission for Saturday's game against Pueblo West is $5 for adults, $4 for students. Athletic director Kahle Charles said no family or IML passes will be accepted, only Colorado High School Activities Association courtesy cards.
County settles 8-mile dispute
By John M. Motter
After months of negotiations, Archuleta County is paying U-Can-Afford $29,500 for work done on Eightmile Mesa Road, even though the local contractor was pulled from the job because the company's work was said to be unsatisfactory.
A stretch of Eightmile Mesa Road between its junction with U.S. 84 and the entrance to the Loma Linda subdivision was rebuilt last fall through an agreement between the county and Loma Linda developer Fred Schmidt.
Schmidt placed $93,250 in escrow for the project and contracted with U-Can-Afford to do the work. In accordance with an agreement between Schmidt and the county, the contract with U-Can-Afford was turned over to the county so the county could supervise and inspect the work. The road was to be built to county specifications. Release of the escrow funds required approval from Schmidt and the county.
Early on, an engineering firm hired by the county to inspect the work said certain requirements were not being met. Consequently, the county refused to pay U-Can-Afford and ultimately pulled its workers off of the job. Weeminuche Construction bid $65,000 plus materials and was hired to complete the job.
In the meantime, U-Can-Afford informed the county that a law suit might be forthcoming unless the county agreed to pay for the work done. Negotiations between the county and U-Can-Afford began at that time.
Subsequently, the county paid Denco $50,580 for materials used during the road construction process. The county has paid Weeminuche $74,600. The money for paying Weeminuche came from county road and bridge funds, not from the escrow account.
Western Technologies has been paid $4,370 to inspect the road work on behalf of the county.
Tuesday of this week during the regular commissioner meeting, the commissioners agreed to pay U-Can-Afford $29,500. At that time, County Manager Dennis Hunt said about $13,000 plus interest remains in the project's escrow account. Commissioner Gene Crabtree suggested that the county retain the $13,000 and the interest given to Schmidt.
The payment to U-Can-Afford only settles the issue with that firm, according to Mary Weiss, the county attorney. Other issues may or may not remain with Schmidt, Weiss said.
So far, the Eightmile Mesa Road work has cost approximately $159,000, an overrun of almost $67,000, about 72 percent.
In a commissioner meeting setting where a $1,142 overrun of an Enhanced 9-1-1 estimate was questioned at length, why has there not been public discussion establishing accountability for an overrun of almost $63,000?
"Because of possible litigation, most of the discussion about Eightmile Mesa has been conducted in private," said Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "That's the way the other commissioners wanted it."
The bonding company which guaranteed U-Can-Afford's work refused to step in, Crabtree said, because the company said the county moved too fast in pulling U-Can-Afford off of the job and because some of the delays might have been caused by the county.
Commissioner Ken Fox said the commissioners weighed the cost of litigation against the cost of completing the road themselves and decided to rebuild the road themselves.
"There wasn't much time, winter was coming, and we didn't want to leave those people out there without a road," Fox said. "The bond company wouldn't pay. The issue is on the agenda next Tuesday when we anticipate a response from Schmidt concerning the money remaining in the escrow account. It can't be released without his signature."
"I thought the difference had been talked about in public meetings," said Commissioner Bill Downey. "The reason for the difference is, after we canceled U-Can-Afford, we paid Weminuche from road and bridge funds. Then we settled with U-Can-Afford."
Snow storms on the way
By John M. Motter
A chance for snow faces Pagosa basketball fans with plans to drive to Gypsum for the regional basketball game between Pagosa Springs and Eagle Valley Friday evening.
"We expect a series of weather conditions to come across Colorado over the next week," said Doug Baugh, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. "The first wave is coming in today (Wednesday) and should clear out tomorrow," Baugh continued. "Another wave should come in Friday and clear out by noon Saturday."
Since the storm center is south of Colorado, the probability for moisture decreases as one goes north, according to Baugh.
"That means there will be less chance of snow along the I-70 corridor than in the San Juans," Baugh said.
From 2 to 3 inches of snow were expected yesterday afternoon and last night, according to Baugh. Today should be mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Friday presents the chance for a few snow showers with the next storm wave expected Friday night. Conditions should clear Saturday, but another wave of weather is possible Sunday night and Monday.
"At least it's keeping the cold air in Canada from moving down into our area," Baugh said.
Meanwhile, as spring breaks spring up in schools across the west, Wolf Creek Ski Area has 73 inches of natural snow at midway and 77 inches of natural snow at the summit. The area reports 28 inches of new snow during the last seven days. All 50 trails and 100 percent of the mountain are open.
County had nothing to do with ad
By John M. Motter
The Archuleta County commissioners denied having anything to do with a full-page advertisement paid for by Piano Creek Ranches that ran some weeks ago in The Pagosa Springs SUN.
In response to a question asked by Elizabeth Feazel concerning the ad, Commissioner Gene Crabtree said, "That list (of names in the ad) looked like anybody who ever talked to or sold anything to Piano Creek. They came before us and made a talk one time. I read what was in print, took it with a grain of salt. We have not performed any service for them."
The road up the East Fork of the San Juan and through the proposed Piano Creek development was once a state road, Feazel said, and the county has an option to take over the road from the U.S. Forest Service. Feazel asked whether the county intends to exercise that option.
Piano Creek asked us and we told them we're not interested, answered Commissioner William Downey.
Lolita Manring, representing "Friends of the East Fork," asked what the county intends to do concerning water rights, water quality, sewage regulation, wildlife migration routes, and other issues raised by development of the East Fork property.
Who is going to finance the increased demand for schools and other public services the development will create, especially because the development is in Mineral County and that county will collect the property taxes, Feazel asked.
"We've discussed it with Mineral County officials, but we haven't reached any conclusions," Downey said
"There are a lot of loops they have to go through," said Commissioner Gene Crabtree. "I don't know where they are in those processes."
"Process is the key word," said Commissioner Ken Fox. "We have other intergovernmental agreements with Mineral County and I'm sure we will work together on this issue."
"There is not likely to be a sketch plan according to what I hear from the Mineral County planner," said Mike Mollica, Archuleta County director of development. "They can develop under a 'use by right' because of the county zoning there. There will be no process, just a building permit. We will have no opportunity to comment."
In other business Tuesday the commissioners:
- Approved a noxious weed management plan contract with the Colorado Division of Wildlife
- Approved an animal control agreement with La Plata County and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Re-appointed Carrie Toth to the Archuleta County Fair Board
- Considered a suggestion from Crabtree that the county use color-coded road name signs as a means to identify roads that are maintained by the county.
- A hotel/restaurant liquor license was renewed for the Greenhouse Restaurant
- Heard a monthly progress report on the Archuleta County Social Services department from Director Erlinda Gonzalez.
Danger of avalanches in area remains
By Karl Isberg
While the snowpack in the southern San Juan mountains is less than average, the danger of avalanches is still a worry to local officials.
Motorists seeking to cross Wolf Creek Pass on the morning of Feb. 26 learned first-hand of that concern as U.S. 160 was closed for several hours while avalanche control operations were conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The control operation was the second conducted by CDOT in February; the first occurred on Feb. 14.
According to Mark Mueller, local avalanche forecaster for CDOT and for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the Feb. 26 activity followed a brief but intense storm on Feb. 24 that dumped as much as 20 inches of snow in the high country near the pass. Measurable snowfall was recorded on 16 of the first 27 days of February and the snow fell during the month on a shallow base, made fragile by dry conditions prior to February.
Mueller pointed out that the shallow snowpack and its fragile condition is not normal for the area surrounding Wolf Creek Pass.
"Conditions this year," said Mueller, "are fairly unique, because of the shallow snowpack. There is an evolutionary process for snowpack with two general conditions possible: one tends to strength, and a second tends to be weaker. This year, we have a combination of the two factors. The base is a weaker layer and the snow on top of the base tends to be stronger." This, said Mueller, leads to a potentially serious avalanche danger.
On Feb. 14, crews attempted to start avalanches in slide zones along the roadway over the pass. Mueller said there are as many as 24 avalanche paths near the highway, with 14 of those paths considered major. The traditional means of triggering avalanches is to shoot charges with an "avalauncher" or with a 105 m.m. Howitzer. The avalauncher fires a 2-pound charge and the artillery piece fires a 5-pound charge.
The Feb. 14 activity triggered small to medium avalanches, some of which took the snowpack down to the ground. Weather conditions kept the crews from using the Howitzer to target several major avalanche paths located on the west side of the pass.
Between Feb. 14 and Feb. 24 Mueller conducted snowpack stability tests that revealed increased strength. During that period of time, however, several skiers and snowboard riders triggered avalanches near the highway, making the test results suspect.
When the Feb. 24 storm moved into the area, said Mueller, it brought high winds and high snowfall intensities. Wind drifting was pronounced, said Mueller, and a stability test of snowpack on Feb. 24 triggered a moderate-size avalanche. With that, the CDOT Highway Avalanche Condition Rating was raised to moderate. In consideration of the increasing risk, the decision was made to attack the avalanche pathways on the west side of the pass on Feb. 26.
The work, said Mueller, was done from a helicopter. "We used the helicopter this time," he said, "because our access on skis to the starting zones would be lengthy and there were no safe routes. We also did it because we wanted to use a larger charge - 25 pounds."
Crews dropped 21 explosive charges and started seven avalanches. Mueller said at least one slide removed snow down to about 4 inches above bare ground. He said one charge triggered a slide on the opposite side of the ridge from where it was dropped. One of the slides made it to the highway where the snow was removed by a CDOT crew.
Backcountry avalanche danger, said Mueller, is currently rated moderate, but he had some words of warning for backcountry enthusiasts.
"What we're seeing in the backcountry," he said, "is a snowpack that exhibits strength but we're seeing that every round of snowfall has brought out significant avalanche activity. The catch is, its very limited activity but the avalanches we're seeing are deep - to the ground - and this poses a significant danger. People in the backcountry should be wary of any slope with a northerly aspect: slopes facing northwest to east. We're very concerned about these slopes and those areas that have more wind-drifted snow are also of concern to us. There are a lot of places in the backcountry where people can be safe, but they need to be a little more on their guard. In general, during the past few years, we've had pretty stable conditions, so people may have seen a friendlier side of the area. They should not take this for granted. Some times, years with less snowfall produce more severe avalanche conditions."
Mueller offers advice to anyone journeying to the backcountry for winter recreation. "There is a lot of information available," he said. "I encourage people to access information in order to make the best decisions possible. You need to be able to recognize conditions and to exercise caution."
Planning, building departmens 'humming'
By John M. Motter
The Archuleta County planning and building departments are humming with activity these days.
A county vision plan relating to growth management is being developed, building inspectors hired, and various subdivision fees have been alterered. At the same time, subdivision regulations, especially those relating to planned unit developments, are being rewritten.
The county planning department, working with the consulting firm of Four Corners Planning and Design, has conducted eight meetings over the past two weeks. About 625 people turned out for the seven public meetings held in seven areas of the county. Another 230 attended a meeting conducted at the high school.
"I am really pleased with the results," said Mike Mollica, director of county development. "I never imagined we would get such a good response, both as to numbers and quality."
About six weeks will be spent analyzing and synthesizing data gathered during the meetings, then a second round of public meeting will be held some time during May, according to Mollica. During the May meetings a range of alternative growth scenarios will be presented for public response, Mollica said.
This past week, the county building department announced the hiring of two employees. Jerry Mount from Ellenwood, Ga., starts March 16. He will assume the duties of building official and will oversee the operations of the building department. For the past six years, Mount has been senior inspector with Gwinnett County, Ga.
Michael Crofts will begin work March 6 as the county building inspector. Crofts was most recently employed as a compliance inspector by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association. Most of his duties involve on-site building inspections.
A draft of proposed land-use fees was presented to the commissioners Tuesday.
New fees include $450 plus $10 a lot for a final subdivision plat, $450 for a minor subdivision final plat, $200 for a plat amendment final plat, $700 for a conditional-use permit, $200 for a limited impact-use permit, $125 for each variance requested, $400 for a subdivision exemption, $80 for a culvert/driveway permit, $80 for a road-cut permit, and $40 for a variance from road specifications. A number of existing fees were also increased.
"The increases are based on an assessment of the amount of time needed to process the various requests," Mollica said. "They also conform to the 'user pay' philosophy endorsed by the commissioners."
A public meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. will introduce a number of planning and building issues including conditional uses - related to PUDs, limited-impact uses, developer vested-right provisions, and other issues.
County takes over landfill, transfer stations
By John M. Motter
Archuleta County is operating the county landfill and two transfer stations as of yesterday. The commissioners voted Tuesday to end a contract calling for Waste Management to operate the three county-owned facilities.
The landfill is located about 6 miles south on Trujillo Road. One transfer station is located on Trujillo Road near the town limit, and the second transfer station is located at Arboles.
At the landfill, operating hours will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday. The landfill will be closed Sundays. Transfer station hours remain the same, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and closed Monday.
All residential trash customers using the transfer stations must present a $1 recycling coupon. Coupons may be purchased at any local bank or from the downtown City Market.
All customers hauling commercial trash, construction debris, yard waste, and similar refuse will be charged $5 a cubic yard for disposal. Appliances such as refrigerators and washers, will be charged $3 per appliance. Disposing of tires costs $1 per tire.
Recycling is taking place at the transfer stations. Vehicles using the recycling area only are not required to have a recycling coupon. Materials currently acceptable for recycling are newspaper, junk mail, and magazines; aluminum cans; tin cans; and card board.
People at the recycling centers are asked not to put materials into the containers so that contamination will not result. The recycling attendant will separate and place the materials in their proper receptacles.
Questions about solid waste disposal or recycling should be directed to Clifford Lucero of the Archuleta County Solid Waste Department, 264-0193.
'May we all commit to remaining good neighbors'
In 1945 I married into the Kleckner family and joined the Upper Piedra-Pagosa Springs community. The Kleckner family came to this area and homesteaded at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass before the turn of the century and later purchased a ranch in the Upper Piedra area. It was on the Piedra ranch that my husband (Carl Kleckner) and I raised our family and I still reside.
On the evening of Feb. 4, while I was attending a funeral in Aztec, N.M., our family home of forty-eight years burned to the ground. I returned Saturday morning to the ashes of a lifetime of memories and treasurers of the past, not to mention the basic living conveniences.
My family and I have witnessed many changes throughout the years, and certainly none more than now, but one thing that still stays the same is the caring and compassion of good neighbors and friends who help you bridge the painful losses of life.
We would like to express our gratitude to the following neighbors and friends who have generously been there for us:
First of all "thank you" to Tom Birch who saw the fire and drove in to make sure I was not there, then drove to my son's to report the fire.
Thank you to the persons who spent many hours getting our part of the county into a fire district and to the fire department who spent many wet, cold hours trying to save my home; to my pastor, Don Ford, and his wife Barbara for being there when I arrived home from Aztec the day after the fire; and to all of my church family, neighbors and friends who have assisted with gifts of time, food, money, clothes, prayer and expressions of concern.
No matter what changes we experience in the future, may we all commit to remaining "good neighbors," cause you just never know when the one in need might be you.
Virginia Kleckner and family
Residing in a small town such as Pagosa Springs comes with a few inconveniences. Most are trivial considering how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. Unfortunately, some situations cannot be overlooked.
I feel our town is monopolized by the few utility companies in the area. If this is to continue, Pagosa Springs residents need to demand fair and good service. I have lived at my present address in downtown since September 1, 1999. Each month I received a bill from La Plata Electric for my electricity usage, which I promptly paid. The bills reflected numbers that appeared to come from our meter and the usage seemed appropriate. When I opened my most recent bill though I was in for an obnoxious surprise. My bill was not in the $30-$40 range as I had expected, but $247.92. Along with the bill was a letter requesting me to call LPEA regarding my account because for the past three and a half months the meter reader was unable to read the meter at my residence due to a "fence being high and locked." The fence is high, but the gate does not even lock. Instead of promptly alerting me that they were having trouble reading the meter they "estimated" the electricity usage for three months. Unfortunately, they had been estimating way too low. After speaking by phone with two different people at their office, I was left feeling that I had been scammed, and that LPEA does not feel the need to provide adequate, efficient service in Pagosa. Their policy is to not notify customers that there is a problem reading the meter until three months have passed.
I was led to believe that the electricity I was consuming was reasonable and therefore did not adjust my daily living requirements to budget in extra payments. Now suddenly I am presented with this $247 bill that is due in just over two weeks. I know that I am not the only LPEA customer in this area that lives paycheck to paycheck and a bill of this amount is an outright problem. I don't have an extra $247 lying around to pay for something that was not my fault. I was told by LPEA that they could kindly work out a payment plan to take care of the owed balance, but why should I have to pay for something that should never have taken place? Had I been notified promptly that the meter could not be read, I would have remedied the situation and could have been properly charged each month.
From what LPEA told me, there are quite a few people whose bills are being estimated. This is my way of alerting fellow residents to watch their bills so that they don't get caught in the same trap. It only takes one voice to start a revolution. Speak up Pagosa, to all of the utility companies when you feel you have been wronged. Demand that you be treated fairly and that acceptable standards of service are incorporated.
Peace & harmony
At the time of writing this letter, I have no idea if or what the written response will be to my letter to you in last week's paper (Feb. 24, S.O.S.). However, I have had significant personal response. To this I would like to reply: I am not asking any of you to change your "way" of thinking. What I am suggesting is that you "do" think. When is the last time you have had an "original thought;" one all your own, not a thought based on someone else's story, perception or judgment? When is the last thought you have had not based on what someone else thinks or what you think someone else thinks you should think? When is the last time you have allowed yourself the freedom to feel what you really feel? Is someone else's thought or feeling more important or accurate than your own so you stuff yours?
Now take this a step further . . . when is the last time you've "acted" on a true feeling of your own? What is the last thing you've done to help someone just because you've wanted to with no expectation of praise or reward? When is the last time you have assisted someone to change their "situation" without attempting to change the person?
Wake up folks. Little by little our personal freedoms are being chipped away. Your "freedom of thought" is the only freedom that cannot be taken away. To lose it, one must willingly give it away. Are you willing to do this?
How about if we all, as a community, join together and look for a common bond between us? This common bond could be something as simple, yet wonderful, as the fact that we all live here in this beautiful place called Pagosa Springs. The letter above mine (Pulling Together, Feb. 24) says it all. Do we need a death or some major disaster to pull together? How about if we learn to accept differences, feel compassion and understanding for each other, assist each other whenever/wherever possible and all work side-by-side toward the goal of peace and harmony for all?
Love and peace to all of you,
Kathryn Strom Davis
We want to acknowledge the timely and considerate service from the local people at CenturyTel and Roese Construction.
After months of dealing with CenturyTel people on the phone and via e-mail, we received a certified letter telling us our phone service date for a new home had been changed from Feb. 9 to April 30 without any explanation. We went to the local CenturyTel office and talked to Kyle Lowther, the area supervisor for Pagosa Work Center.
He reviewed our file and told us he would do his best to see that we would get service as soon as possible. Within two working days, a crew from Roese Construction laid out the telephone line drop and installed our line in a trench and the next morning a cheerful "Bill" from CenturyTel completed the final hookup.
Thanks to all these folks who proved once again that the people of Pagosa do come through.
Jim and Joanne Haliday
What death brings
How does the untimely death of one vital person (Terri Estep Smith) bring so many people together and foster giving, cooperation, communication, and love? Perhaps even understanding that, in some cases, wasn't there before.
How can a community take a tremendous disappointment, change and loss and use it to its greatest good?
It has been done, is being done and will be done because of who she was. That much I know.
Everyone should be able to do what they want on their own property.
This is America and it is part and parcel of our Constitution. However, along with that freedom comes responsibility. If I do something and it directly affects someone else's freedom and rights, freedom to breath fresh air, freedom to fish the rivers for food, etc., then I am infringing on that person's rights and freedoms.
I drive a car safely and responsibly, because if I did not I would endanger someone else, thereby infringing on their right to live and drive in safety. If I want to endanger myself without bringing anyone else in on it, that is basically my right and freedom. Unless others are brought in on it, then their rights end where the other's begin.
All I'm saying is that you can do whatever you bloody well want to on your own property or to your own life and that's your path as long as it does not infringe on another's rights and freedoms. I may try to talk you out of it, but ultimately it's your right, your path.
To that end, I want to say that all tree huggers and environmentalists are working to do is preserve the rights and freedoms of this earth, which is a living organism, as well as the beings that live on this earth and their right and freedom to commune with, and enjoy living on Mother Earth, not to mention the right to breath the fresh air she provides, etc. We do not simply live on this earth, we live with her and are a part of her. We are her stewards, here to help care for her, not rape and pillage her. We are not superior to her, we are, maybe, if we are lucky, equal to her. For some group of people to come in and take away a part of Mother Earth that has been in the lives of so many appreciative beings, for the benefit of a wealthy few is infringing on the rights and freedoms of those many appreciative beings. Nothing is wrong with wealth and power, it's what you do with it that matters.
I am hoping that by saying something differently, my pen will be mightier than the sword of greed, selfishness and irresponsibility. Hoping and praying that one word or phrase will turn on a light in the dark "mind set" that I hear lately. Hoping and praying that the ones with power and wealth, will remember life, the life in us all, and be responsible to us all, including Mother Earth. We do not need another ski resort, or golf course, or heliport for the wealthy few. Nor do we need another "Fun Valley" RV park, especially in this area.
The ones building either of these need more money from the rape of Mother Earth's treasurers. We've got more than enough pimps trying to sell Mother Earth's body for profit, as it is.
(No relation to the editor.)
We want to share some exciting news about the Pagosa office of Southwest Colorado Mental Health. In the coming weeks, we are looking forward to the formulation of a new local advisory council to help us offer the mental health services that our community needs.
With the help of the advisory council, we will be conducting a local survey within the community to get feedback about how we are doing now, and what programs we can provide to better meet current needs. We are also interested in finding ways to link up with other human service providers to make a team effort in our small community.
We are deeply saddened by the recent loss of Terri Lynn Estep Smith, who did wonderful work at our center in years past. In memory and in dedication to the kind of work that she did, we would like to make a renewed effort to listen to the needs in our community and to reach out to meet those needs.
We would like to express our gratitude to the Humane Society and others connected in the return of our dog, Montauk, on Feb. 23. He had been missing since Jan. 28. We were saddened by his disappearance and our 4-year-old daughter was having great difficulty with her friend being gone.
So, thanks to Celilia, John, Julie and all of the people connected in getting our dog back to us.
Bill, Tammi and McKenna Putnam
I am writing this letter to you in hopes that you will publish it. I just wanted to let the people of Pagosa Springs know that they are represented very well by their varsity boys basketball team. I watched them play Del Norte and Monte Vista in the IML District Tournament this past weekend and was impressed by their athletic ability. I would like to congratulate them on their success this year.
I would like to say that I was even more impressed by their attitudes on the basketball court. It is very obvious that they have been taught to play hard but to show respect and to have dignity in any situation. I think they should be congratulated for the "class" they have and I wish them luck in the upcoming regional playoffs.
RV park nightmare
Though it has been kept very quiet, there is a plan afoot to put 300 RV's, a restaurant, bar, laundry, etc. right smack dab on U.S. 84 where Wolf Creek Industries used to be. If you have driven by Happy Valley (the RV park over the pass, thank God) anytime lately you know what a nightmare this would be for Pagosa. The traffic would destroy U.S. 84 - a last undeveloped bastion in Archuleta County. Occasional homes are one thing, but 1,000 people. You have to be kidding me . . . not to mention their water use, waste produced, trash, pets and noise and light pollution.
If you have attended any of the "Future of Archuleta County" meetings you know that these are the very things we all treasure here, quiet, dark star-lit nights, little traffic, little commercial development. If this project goes through, how many others will be rushed through before there are any regulations?
Please, please find out more about this plan. Attend the Planning Commission meeting on March 8. It is paramount that we all hear the reality of what would come with this proposal. I have heard it said that the man behind it has a "dream" to build this thing. . . and I ask him, what about the dreams of all of us here in Pagosa . . . not to have to drive by such a thing for the rest of our and our childrens' lives. I have no personal animosity toward any individual involved here . . . I just have a strong feeling that this particular dream is everyone's else's nightmare.
Roy Starlings' treatment of John Wayne and Howard Hawks makes the High Noon review great reading. Few actors had less talent than John Wayne, who like (President) Clinton missed the only war in which he had an opportunity to fight, and Hawks, well, he didn't make movies, he made picture shows.
Egg wrecker back
Our paths cross once again. My name is Bill Egg and I'm the person who side-swiped your wife's Subaru station wagon in March of 1998. Relax, I have not been touring Pagosa Springs in an RV since that fateful night.
Attached below you will find a copy of a letter my wife and I have forwarded to the county commissioners regarding a disturbing land-use application recently submitted for the site of the abandoned Wolf Creek Industries sawmill on U.S. 84. I predict the number of similarly minded supporters and our common commitment to fight this incompatible land use will spoon erupt into quite a debate. Hopefully this debate will not only prevent the proliferation of "commercialization" along the U.S. 84 corridor, but help catalyze a movement among the residents of Archuleta County to send a mandate to the county commissioners that the time has come to provide for orderly land use to preserve the beauty and future dignity of Pagosa Springs and surrounding areas, and to protect property values. I hope the Pagosa SUN will bring this issue to the attention of the residents of Archuleta County.
For your information, a public meeting regarding this development application will occur on Wednesday, March 8, at the county courthouse. I hope to formally meet you there. Alternatively, feel free to contact Lisa and arrange a meeting to gauge firsthand the commitment and beliefs of the adjacent property owners. I'm confident our beliefs represent the feelings of the majority of the residents of Archuleta County.
Inasmuch as I typically drive an older model Toyota 4-Runner around Pagosa Springs, I repeat, your automobiles are safe.
Bill and Lisa Egg
Editor's note: The agenda for the above-mentioned March 8 meeting of the Upper San Juan Planning Commission appears elsewhere in this edition. The agenda states: "The sketch plan review for a PUD consisting of a 82-acre (plus or minus) RV campground and associated commercial enterprises plus a single family residence to be located near 6116 U.S. 84 (the old Wolf Creek Sawmill site) has been postponed to the April 12 planning commission meeting."
On Feb.17, you published my letter to the editor titled "Gaining compliance." Certain people in Pagosa Springs called the Forest Service in pursuit of an explanation and, as reported to me, were met with hostility, a confusing barrage of acronyms and a claim that my U.S. Land Patent is invalid since it was issued in 1919, after the creation of the Forest Service.
Any valid lease, patent or permit issued before 1976 is still valid. It does not have to pre-date the creation of the Forest Service or the specific national forest. There is no Act of Congress that permits the Forest Service to violate existing property rights or allows it to coerce citizens into signing over their rights or grants it the power to pursue citizens as criminals in order to extort a civil remedy.
The Organic Act of 1897, which established the national forests, clearly states: "The jurisdiction, both civil and criminal, over persons within national forests shall not be affected or changed by reason of their existence . . . the intent and meaning of this provision being that the State wherein any such national forest is situated shall not, by reason of the establishment thereof, lose its jurisdiction, nor the inhabitants thereof their rights and privileges as citizens . . . ."
Citizens must demand Forest Service officials to answer to Congress for their behavior before they are no longer answerable to Congress, having gained the autonomy they admit to seeking. Why not let the people of the United States in on their plans to circumvent the people of the United States? And why not ask the Supreme Court to exercise its rightful jurisdiction to decide national policy instead of allowing a federal magistrate who apparently has no working knowledge of the Sixth Amendment to create that policy for us? (Any judge who first threatens me with imprisonment but denies me court-appointed counsel, then refuses me representation by counsel of my choice and, for a grand finale, asks the prosecution if it has any objection to me being represented by my chosen counsel, has no business deciding national policy while demonstrating complete ignorance of this nation's constitution.)
I propose we show 'em what it means to get on a horse they cannot ride, and just exactly what it means to be American, vested with rights and privileges that cannot be taken. I suggest we do this before the Forest Service requires a special use permit as well as a preliminary environmental impact study, both billable to the applicant, to have a church picnic inside the boundaries of the San Juan National Forest. Check out the Forest Service's own website, www.fs.fed.us. Look at its "Special Use Cost Recovery Proposal." Since the Forest Service intends to make any use of the national forest a "Special Use," it's seeking additional funds to implement its program.
I will go down fighting. Even one Westerner may prove to be more than they can handle, however I do invite you to join me.
I enjoyed reading the article about the medical services wanting visible addresses in the Feb. 24 edition of the SUN. However, the lack of visible street signs is only part of the problem. A number of streets in the county still do not have street signs that are easily visible at night.
For example, the streets such as Jacobson Circle in Teyuakan I and all the streets in Pagosa Peak Estates such as Perry Drive do not have official county street signs yet. Even Jack's Pasture Road, the turnoff from Peidra Road, does not have a sign.
A few months ago there was a short article in the SUN asking people to contact the county engineer if they knew of streets without street signs. I sent an e-mail to the county engineer pointing out the lack of signs in our area. I did not receive a response and there are still no signs.
William Shurtleff, PhD.
Darla Jean Merrifield of Pagosa Springs, died Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2000.
Miss Merrifield was born Aug. 24, 1962, in Midland, Texas, to Johnnie Luther and Geneva (Catlett) Merrifield. She lived in Midland until moving to Pagosa Springs in 1986.
She is survived by her parents, Johnnie and Geneva Merrifield of Pagosa Springs; her brother and his wife, Larry and Janice Merrifield of Duncanville, Texas; her sisters and their husbands, Sandy and Mike Hull of Midland and Mary and David Pearce of Midland; one niece and five nephews.
Funeral services were held Friday, Feb. 25, in the North A and Tennessee Church of Christ with Rev. Grey Fleming, of North A and Tennessee Church of Christ, and Rev. Dorman Diller, of Pagosa Springs Church of Christ, officiating. Interment followed in Resthaven Memorial Park in Midland.
The family requests memorials be directed to Pagosa Springs Church of Christ, Box 251, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
League champion Pirates must travel to regionals
By John M. Motter
Pagosa travels to Gypsum Friday, to play the Eagle Valley Devils in a regional game to determine which team qualifies for the state tournament. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Average travel time between Pagosa Springs and Gypsum is between five and six hours on dry roads.
If the Pirates win at Gypsum, they'll join seven other Class 3A teams for the state championship tournament at the Air Force Academy March 9, 10 and 11. If they lose, they come home, their season finished.
Pagosa reached the regional round of play by capturing the Intermountain League championship with a perfect 10-0 record.
They lost the district tournament championship game Saturday to Monte Vista 56-52. Consequently, Monte Vista represents the IML as the No. 1 seeded team, Pagosa Springs as the No. 2 seed. Ironically, Pagosa Springs beat Monte Vista twice during the regular IML season. Nonetheless, Monte Vista is seeded sixth overall in the state-wide regional playoff bracketing, Pagosa Springs is seeded 12th for regional pairings.
All season long, Pirate coach Kyle Canty has used an 11-man squad. At the IML tournament last week, he suited up a 12th man, 6-3 freshman Jason Schutz. Other members of the Pagosa squad are seniors Clinton Lister, Lonnie Lucero, Charles Rand, Brandon Thames and Carlos Martinez; juniors Daniel Crenshaw, David Goodenberger, Micah Maberry, Tyrel Ross and Dominque Lucero; and sophomore Darin Lister.
Eagle Valley won the Western Slope League Tournament to earn the No. 1 seed from that league. The Devils finished league play with an 8-2 record, the season with an 18-4 record. Common opponents shared with Pagosa Springs include Gunnison, Olathe, and Rifle. Pagosa bested Gunnison 60-56 and 55-43, Olathe 54-43, and lost to Rifle 50-40. Eagle Valley topped Gunnison 79-60, Olathe 57-39, and lost to Rifle 70-45.
The leading scorers for Eagle Valley are Ty Sterkel, a 6-foot-4 senior who averages 21.4 points a game; Matt Wood, a 6-foot-4 senior who averages 17.7 points a game; Micah Bernhardt, a 5-foot-10 sophomore who averages 11 points a game and is the Devil's leading 3-point shooter; Nate Rioux, a 6-foot-3 junior who averages 7.9 points a game, and Cory Nolan, a 5-foot-10 senior who averages 5.5 points a game.
Pagosa broke even during the IML Tournament this past weekend. Friday night the Pirates rained 3-pointers down on Del Norte and left the court with a 59-50 win.
The victory over Del Norte cranked Pagosa into the tournament championship Saturday night against Monte Vista, the other Pirates in the IML. Monte Vista finished second in IML regular season play with an 8-2 record, both losses being to Pagosa Springs.
This time, Monte Vista reversed the results of its three last encounters with Pagosa, all losses, by grinding out a 56-52 victory. Last year, Monte entered the IML District Tournament with a fat and sassy 10-0 IML record. After colliding with a fired-up Pagosa five on the first night of the tournament, they limped home a 62-48 loser.
Pagosa 59, Del Norte 50
Six different Pirates swished 3-pointers during the first quarter of Friday's Del Norte game. By the end of eight minutes, Pagosa led 22-10. Del Norte fought gamely back, but Pagosa buried the Tigers with four more treys during the second period. By halftime, Pagosa was on top 36-23.
During the first half, 30 of Pagosa's 36 points were launched from beyond the 3-point line. Every time a trey swished, the Tigers shoulders sagged a little closer to the floor. For the game, the Pirates sank 13 of 22 of their 3-point attempts, almost 60 percent accuracy.
"The kids were exceptionally hot from the outside," said Canty. "Of course I was happy to see those threes fall in, but it makes me nervous, even when they are hitting. I don't want to rely on threes."
The Pirates are under no restrictions when it comes to shooting threes, according to Canty.
"Everyone has a green light to shoot the trey," Canty said. "Sometimes I try to slow everyone down and swing the ball around a little more. We try to run our transition game so someone will have an opening to shoot the trey."
After leading throughout the game, Canty substituted freely during the final period, allowing Del Norte to trim a 20-point deficit to a mere nine points when the game ended.
Pagosa shot exceptionally well against Del Norte. The Pirates hit 12 of 18 field goal attempts for a 67 percent shooting percentage. From the free throw line, they were 5 for 6, an 83 percent shooting percentage.
Rand dished out six assists and made two steals. Ross made three assists and two steals. Lucero also contributed three assists. Goodenberger skied for seven rebounds, all on the defensive boards. Maberry was close behind with six rebounds plus two blocked shots. Schutz also blocked a shot. Pagosa committed 16 turnovers.
Rand also topped the Pirates scoring with 12 points; followed by Maberry with 11 points; Goodenberger, Ross, and Lucero with 8 points each; Clinton Lister with 7 points; and Crenshaw with 5 points.
Monte 56, Pagosa 52
Monte Vista won the Saturday night championship game at the free throw line, a reversal of the last contest with Pagosa. Saturday, Monte converted 21 of 32 free throw attempts while Pagosa scored on all of their five free throw opportunities.
It was the third time for Pagosa and Monte to play this season. During the first game Jan. 22 at Monte Vista, Pagosa was whistled for 22 fouls, Monte Vista for 18 fouls. Pagosa made 9 of 13 free throws attempted, Monte Vista 8 of 24 attempts. Pagosa won the game 69-52. The second game Feb. 11 was played in Pagosa Springs. In the Pagosa gym, Pagosa was called for 10 fouls, Monte Vista for 18 fouls. Pagosa made 18 of 23 from the free throw line, Monte 3 of 8. Pagosa won the game 62-54. Saturday in Monte Vista, Pagosa was cited for 25 personal fouls, Monte Vista was cited for 10 personal fouls. Pagosa shot 5 for 5 from the free throw line, Monte Vista 21 for 32. Monte won the game 56-52.
Monte scored first, but Goodenberger hit a deuce to tie the score. Monte pushed the lead to 6-2 before Rand swished a trey, Crenshaw popped for two, and Goodenberger scored with a put back. By the end of the period, Pagosa was on top 15-11 and seemingly well on its way to victory.
The lead yo-yoed back and forth through much of the second period. As the crowd edged toward the doors for halftime hot dogs with the score knotted at 25-all, Rand and Crenshaw sank treys and Pagosa led 31-25 at the buzzer.
When Ross bounced a bank shot off of the backboard midway through the third period, the Pirates lead stretched to 38-30, the largest margin either team enjoyed during the game.
Monte began to press and Pagosa appeared to tire, missing easy shots, making wild passes and fouling. Meanwhile, Monte seemed to breathe new life and upped the tempo. Still, Pagosa met the challenge bucket for bucket. Maberry dropped in another of his patented, fade-away jumpers, ending the third period with Pagosa on top 42-36.
The story of the final period was etched at the free throw line. Monte got 15 looks from the charity stripe and sank 14 of them. Pagosa did not go to the line.
With Pagosa ahead 42-38, Monte's Willy Snyder sank a pair of free throws to narrow the margin to 42-40. Phillip Sanchez hit two more gift shots to tie the score, Trevor Stewart and Kevin May scored from the floor and Monte led 48-42. Then Goodenberger hit for two, Ross buried a trey, and Pagosa closed to within three points, 50-47.
Monte upped the lead to 54-47 at the free throw line. With 19 seconds remaining, Goodenberger and Crenshaw sandwiched treys around yet two more Monte free throws.
Monte played with 10 seniors and a junior, the same squad that went unbeaten during the 1998-1999 IML season. The Pirates from the San Luis Valley will play 11th seeded Denver Lutheran in the regional playoffs this coming weekend.
Lancing's 31 lifts Ladies in La Jara
By Roy Starling
By virtue of their No. 1 seeding in the finals of the Intermountain League District 1 Tournament Saturday night in La Jara, the Lady Pirates were the designated home team. So they responded in a perfectly logical way, beating the powerful Centauri Lady Falcons 58-54 in overtime, thus transforming the Heartbreak Hotel into Home, Sweet Home.
For the past two seasons, the Ladies have endured demoralizing, buzzer-beating defeats at the hands of the Lady Falcons on their home court in La Jara, but Saturday night they decided enough was enough and that the third time would be their charm. Down 11 points in the first half, the Ladies summoned up all their energy, character and composure, and played their best ball of the year to earn a fourth consecutive IML District 1 title and a fourth consecutive home regional playoff game.
That regional contest, which is good for a trip to the Class 3A state tournament in Colorado Springs next weekend, will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday, in the high school gym, against Pueblo West.
Spearheading the Pagosa win was a 31-point, 10-rebound effort by 6-foot sophomore Katie Lancing. It was a virtuoso performance, a thing of beauty. Old-timer basketball fans cannot recall a sophomore, male or female, having such a big night for Pagosa Springs.
But Lancing's play was so workmanlike, so consistent, that many observers were shocked to learn of her gaudy point total.
"It was incredible," Pagosa coach Karen Wells said. "I knew she had a great game, but I never thought she had 31 points - 20 maybe, but not 31."
Not surprisingly, Lancing put the Ladies on the board first. After a strangely quiet and rather uneventful first two minutes of the game, she took a pass from Janae Esterbrook and foiled Centauri's suffocating zone by connecting from 15 feet. About a minute later, with 4 minutes and 55 seconds remaining in the first, Lady Falcon senior guard Holly McCarroll hit from 20 feet out, and the ice was broken.
For the next few minutes Holly and her sister Cindy would fire away from the outside, and Pagosa would answer with baskets from Mandy Forrest. With 3:02 remaining, the Lady Pirates were down 8-6.
Cindy McCarroll upped her team's lead by one when Forrest was the victim of a very late foul call in the high post, then, following a Pagosa turnover, Cindy backed in from the baseline and delivered a turn-around jumper to make the score 11-6 with 1:55 remaining.
After a minute lull, Janae Esterbrook pulled up in the lane to cut the deficit to three, but Holly McCarroll answered in her favorite way, shaking loose for an easy breakaway layup.
Then Lancing went back to work. With 24 ticks remaining in the quarter she hit a 10-foot jumper. Following a Centauri miss and a Forrest rebound, Lancing missed a mid-range shot, but hustled in for the rebound and banked it in at the buzzer to make the score 13-12, Centauri, after one period.
Down, not out
The Lady Falcons opened the second quarter with a 10-point run in four minutes. While their hometown fans rocked the joint, the Centauri girls were obviously enjoying themselves believing they were finally going to put the Lady Pirates away early. At the 3:05 mark in the second, maybe they relaxed a little, noting from the scoreboard a comfortable 23-12 lead.
The Lady Pirates scored four points before intermission, while blanking the red-hot Falcons and, in so doing, "made it a ball game," as they say. Pagosa trailed only 23-16 at halftime.
The third quarter was explosive, high-octane basketball, the kind of game people pay money to see. The Lady Pirates put up 20 points in the period (10 of those from Lancing), while Centauri countered with 15. The Lady Falcons and their fans were enjoying themselves much less at this point, holding on to a shaky 38-36 lead heading into the final period.
The rim-rattling began with two quick baskets by the "other" McCarroll, sophomore Erin, who may wind up being the best of the bunch. With 6:35 remaining, the Ladies fought back with a putback by Ashley Gronewoller. After a Centauri miss, Lancing crashed the lane on Pagosa's end, scored, and was fouled by Erin. She made the free throw to trim the lead to 27-21.
Post player Cindy McCarroll then used a feathery touch to drain a shot from the top of the key. Lancing answered with a rainbow 3-pointer from the left side. Then Holly McCarroll answered her answer with a quick jumper. With a 31-24 score with 4:06 left in the third, cutting into that Centauri lead looked to be almost impossible.
Forrest trimmed it a bit with two free throws after being fouled by Cindy Mac, then Centauri's senior Jennifer Bond got one of those back at the line. On the Ladies' next possession, Lancing grabbed yet another offensive rebound, but instead of forcing it right back up, she put a dizzying spin move on Bond, got a better shot for her efforts, made it, and was fouled by Bond. When she clanked the free throw, Forrest hopped into the lane and put it back where it belonged to cut the lead to 32-30 at the 3:15 mark.
At this point, the intensity increased for both teams and the baskets grew larger on both sides of the court. Centauri went on a little run, outscoring Pagosa 6-2 over the next minute and a half. With 40 seconds remaining, Forrest scored from near the 3-point arc in the corner. When the Ladies got the ball back, the seconds were disappearing quickly off the clock, but Lancing just had time to drive past two defenders and lay it against the glass to cut the lead to 38-36 as the buzzer sounded.
On the Ladies' first possession of the final period of regulation, Lancing took a feed from Forrest and tied the game for the first time since the opening minutes of the contest. Bond responded with an off-balance jumper to make it 40-38, then Lancing drove past Erin McCarroll to tie it back up.
Centauri finally cooled off for a while, and the Ladies took advantage of the brief drought to take the lead, courtesy of a Lancing basket off a picture-perfect dish from junior Meigan Canty.
As the tension began to thicken in the game's final minutes, it was obviously time for Lady Falcon point guard Nicole Espinosa to get in on the act, the young woman who scored the winning baskets against Pagosa earlier in the season. With 2 minutes remaining, she picked a Pagosa pocket and drove the length of the court to give her team a 45-43 lead. But that wouldn't be enough. Lancing came back with two from the stripe after being fouled by Bond (her fifth), and on Pagosa's next possession, Esterbrook maneuvered her way into the lane for two, and the Ladies led again, 47-45 with just under a minute left.
But just 13 unlucky seconds later, Holly McCarroll sank a long-range jumper to tie the score, and neither team could get the ball to fall as time ran out. The two teams then tried to steady their nerves for another nail-munching 4-minute overtime.
Well, if Espinosa has nerves, she hasn't discovered them yet. Just as she did the last time these teams met in La Jara, she launched a successful three early in overtime, and the Ladies found themselves in a hole with the Centauri fans absolutely beside themselves.
Not to worry. Just seconds after Espinosa's missile, Lady Pirate senior guard Bonnie O'Brien uncorked one of her own and through the net it went, leveling the playing field once more and giving Pagosa a major shot of adrenalin.
"That was a critical shot," coach Wells said. "We've been working on our outside shooting for the last five weeks in practice, and it's obviously starting to pay off."
With the score tied 52-52 at the 2:10 mark, the Ladies got another huge play. Lancing did something she's been doing all season: picked off a pass on one end and drove all the way to the other for a layup: 54-52, Pagosa.
The Ladies padded that lead with two free throws, one from O'Brien, one from Lancing and led 56-52 with 55 seconds remaining. Erin McCarroll gave them a scare by scoring from the baseline, but Lancing sealed the "W" by driving in for the Ladies' final basket, making the score 58-54.
Just to be sure, however, she blocked Centauri's final effort on the other end, and the Lady Pirates began to do something you don't see them do much of: celebrate. While the Ladies almost always have to defeat Centauri in order to advance to regionals, it's difficult to gloat after beating them. Like the Lady Pirates, the Falcons are always models of class, civility and good sportsmanship.
"I was really proud of our girls," Wells said. "That's the best they've played all year. I was pretty confident we could take them in overtime. They had been through an overtime game the night before (when they nipped Ignacio 48-44) and we were able to rest our starters against Monte Vista. We also lived up to our motto: 'We will not be out rebounded,' getting 30 to Centauri's 23."
Supporting Lancing's sterling effort in the championship game was Forrest with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Esterbrook with six points and six rebounds, and Gronewoller with five points and four big blocked shots.
The Ladies shot 54 percent (20 of 37) from the floor, 60 percent from the line (12 of 20), and committed only 11 turnovers.
Cindy McCarroll led the Lady Falcons with 18 points, followed by sister Holly with 14.
Lady Pirates send quick message to Monte
By Roy Starling
The Lady Pirates opened up the Intermountain League District 1 Tournament in La Jara Friday night with a real eye-popping bit of message sending as they drubbed first-round foe Monte Vista 57-37 to advance to the finals.
By the end of the first quarter, they had jumped out to a 25-6 lead. It should have been pretty clear by then, to any scouts in attendance, that the Ladies had brought their "A" team, had the eye of the tiger, were ready for business and all those other cliches.
Two of the messages Pagosa sent were these: "We don't always start a game slowly" and "We are capable of shooting with terrific accuracy."
After the team's final game of the regular season in Ignacio, coach Karen Wells had expressed some pretty serious concerns about her girls' early-game jitters. While their defensive skills were always sharp enough, their offensive effort in the early going of several games had been lackluster.
That all ended Friday night when the Ladies had their San Luis Valley namesakes thinking about next year shortly after the opening tip-off.
As for their marksmanship, check out these numbers. As a team, the Ladies shot a blistering 61 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the free-throw line. Both of those are season bests, and there couldn't be a better time for this young team to begin peaking.
Senior Janae Esterbrook had an excellent game against Monte, lighting it up for 19 points. Most of those shots came from a good distance from the basket, out on the perimeter. She hit 8 of 13 from the floor (62 percent) for her best shooting effort of the season.
Meanwhile, Ashley Gronewoller and Mandy Forrest were making their shots count in the post. Gronewoller hit 7 of 10 attempts and wound up the game with 14 points. Forrest went 5 for 9 and added a free throw for 11 points.
Katie Lancing had six points and nine rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Senior Bonnie O'Brien hit her only 2-point attempt and was 1 for 3 from beyond the arc, finishing with five points. Junior Meigan Canty chipped in with one field goal, led the team in steals with three and tied Esterbrook and O'Brien with four assists.
Forrest won the Windex award, cleaning the glass with 10 rebounds. Lancing wasn't far behind with nine, while Gronewoller had six and Esterbrook five. Gronewoller made life miserable for Monte's shooters much of the night, getting her long arms straight up in the air for five deflections.
Shortly after the Lady Pirates had finished hammering Monte Vista, the Ignacio Ladycats and Centauri Lady Falcons found themselves in an all out basketball war. The Ladycats, who upset Centauri in last year's district tournament in Pagosa Springs, came within a whisker of repeating the feat.
Leading by two with just 10 seconds remaining in regulation, they lost the ball and the Lady Falcons found new life, tying the game and sending it into overtime. In the extra period, Teresa Cox, Ignacio's standout senior post, fouled out, and Centauri took advantage of her absence to nail down a 48-44 win.
Lots of talent in little ol' Pagosa
Pagosa Springs is wonderful! If we were a city, probably the talent wouldn't "find a home" as quickly. But because we are small, and it's easier to get to know people, and the talented people who are here are "givers," we are blessed with some mighty fine entertainment.
The Music Boosters presentation of "Pianorama!" last weekend was an ultimate example. The purpose of the program - to raise money to help pay for the up-front money provided by John and Ann Graves for the purchase of the conservatory grand piano now at the high school - was notable, but that so many fine musicians could be brought together for the show was exceptionable.
The talent was incredible. Some performers were professional or had been and some came from out of town. Hoyle Osborne and Jane Voss of Aztec, who have toured the country for 20 years, were pure entertainment. And Lawrence Nass of Durango, noted for his original piano styling, was delightful.
The locals were Mark DeVoti, Cary Valentine, Harvey Schwartz, Lisa Hartley, Melinda Baum, Lee Bartley, John Graves, Carla Kruger, Bob Hemenger, Bob Newman, Debbie Tucker Ramey, Danny Appenzeller, Corrilee Patterson and Father John. And Andy was the announcer who kept all these geniuses on track.
Again, thanks to all who helped.
Fun on the Run
The strong man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of one of the older workmen. After several minutes, the older worker had had enough.
"Why don't you put your money where your mouth is," he said, "I will bet a week's wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won't be able to wheel back."
"You're on, old man," the braggart replied. "Let's see what you got."
The old man reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles.
Then, nodding to the young man, he said, "All right, get in."
Sally completely enjoyed 'Pianorama!'
We have a whopping six, count them six, new members to debut this week and one renewal. Yes, indeedy, the year 2000 is going to be a very good one if the first couple of months are any indication at all. We're pleased to introduce the following new members to you.
Cecil Larkin brings us our first new business this week, C. Lark and Associates. These folks are steel building specialists with over 90,000 square feet to their credit in Archuleta County. These completed projects have included commercial, agricultural, multi-family, single family as well as pedestrian and light-duty bridges. If you would like to learn more about C. Lark and Associates, please give them a call at 731-9444.
Randy Eoff joins us next with the San Juan Soil Conservation District located about a half mile south on Highway 84. This organization assists landowners with conservation projects and advice and would welcome a call at 264-5516 to give you a hand with these questions.
Mona and Lynn Herrmann bring us Mona's Home located at 325 Midiron here in Pagosa. The Herrmann's reside in Fredricksburg, Texas, but offer a vacation home rental here. Mona's Home is a three-bedroom, two-bath log home located right on the golf course. For reservations, please call Pagosa Realty Rentals at (800) 367-2140 or locally at 731-5515.
Kenneth R. King joins us next with King Capital, Inc. located currently in Albuquerque, N.M. King Capital offers commercial real estate development and management. You can call (505) 888-0991 to learn more about King Capital.
Rebecca S. McCranie brings us our next new business, Touch of the Tropics, soon to be located at 302 Pagosa Street. Rebecca is a nationally certified massage therapist skilled in Swedish-trigger point, deep tissue, myofacial release, pregnancy massage and reiki. In the past, she was also certified as a Physicians' Technician and EMT. She is capable and willing to work with you and your physician to improve your health. Please call either 264-6471 or (970) 883-2419 for more information.
Welcome to new Associate Members, Tom and Debbie McIntyre who were in attendance at our recent SunDowner. Happy to have all you folks.
Our renewal this week is the Spanish Fiesta, old pals of ours. Jeff Laydon of Pagosa Photography will receive a pass for a free SunDowner for recruiting this group. Thanks, Jeff.
For those of you who missed the latest Music Boosters' production, I can only offer my sincere condolences. "Pianorama!" offered one of the most enjoyable, fun-filled evenings in my experience as well as the perfect showcase for the remarkable spectrum of Pagosa's talent. The piano was, of course, the star of the show and is probably still grinning with pleasure at the sounds produced by the talented players on Friday and Saturday nights. Several composer heavyweights were represented - to include Chopin, Irving Berlin, John Coltrane and Billy Joel - which gives you some idea of the range. All were performed with style and panache worthy of a Broadway/Lincoln Center stage, and I'm so glad I was there. Congratulations to each and every performer and my gratitude for sharing your talents with all of us in Pagosa. If there should be another like offering, I would like to be first on the sign-up list, please.
St. Pat's day
You should be busy little bees this St. Patrick's Day with all the activity available to you. First is the ever-popular St. Patrick's Day Parade beginning at 4 p.m. We will line up at 3:17 p.m. on Sixth Street, and the entry fee is $3.17 - how clever we are. Wearing green is the one and only requirement for entering, and cash prizes will be awarded for the Best Float, the Most Green Costume and the Most Bizarre Costume. What could be easier? This one is just for fun, and we always have the best time. You can pick up your entry form at the Visitor Center any time before 5:00 p.m. on March 16th. Give us a call with any questions at 264-2360.
When you complete the Parade route, you'll need to scurry on home to change clothes for "The Grandest Party in Pagosa Springs!" Yep, that's the night of the Rotary Casino Royale at Pagosa Lodge beginning at 6:30 p.m. until midnight. The Casino and Piano Bar will open the evening, and the games will officially begin. There's something for everyone - bingo, big band sounds, comedy, magic, an auction, black jack, craps, wheel of fortune, dice games, bridge, and canasta. It's a game player's dream night, fur shure, and even more enticing with the $50,000 worth of "Pagosa Bucks" that comes with your ticket.
Tickets are available from any Rotary member or at the Chamber. You truly don't want to miss this Pagosa extravaganza, the Rotary Casino Royale. Oh, and by the way, all the funds raised at this event will go to support some mighty worthy causes.
Our friend, Jim Reser, Director of the Small Business Administration at Fort Lewis College, will be here on March 24th to offer his free business counseling services to Chamber members. This is one of your valuable benefits, and many, many business owners and potential owners have taken advantage of it for the past several years. If you are contemplating opening a business, need a plan or direction for your existing business or just have questions in general, all you need to do is give us a call and set up an appointment with Jim on the 24th. He will spend all the time you need, and the cost to you is nada, zippo, not a cent - you simply can't beat the price, kids. Give us a call at 264-2360 for an appointment.
Another reminder about the Pagosa Pretenders' Family Theatre upcoming production of the Arabian Nights. Their sixth production will be presented on the nights of March 10, 11, 17 and 18 at the Pagosa High School Auditorium beginning at 7:00 p.m. each evening. This is truly entertainment for the whole family featuring the exciting adventures of Sinbad, Ali Baba and Aladdin. Director Susan Garman and Addie Greer encourage you to join them for music and dance that both entertain and educate. Tickets are available at Sisson Library, Moonlight Books, Wild Hare Gifts and the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.
Adult tickets are $4, kids and seniors are $3 and the little ones three and under are free.
Rec Center hosts racquetball
Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center is hosting racquetball league games every Wednesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. These games are open to all racquetball players and judging from the attendance over the last two months, it's getting more and more popular.
Congratulations to Chris Nobles for qualifying for the Colorado Junior Olympics. Chris will travel to Fort Collins this weekend to compete and we all wish him the very best.
A recent restructuring of the Aerobics/Tae Bo fee schedule has made it more flexible and available. For a flat monthly fee, Recreation Center members are able to access any or all of the 13 classes offered each week. Water aerobic classes (6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday) and yoga (Saturday 9:15 to 10:30 a.m.) are still free to all Recreation Center members.
A newcomer's get-together, sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service and hosted by Victoria's Parlor, is scheduled for next Thursday, March 9, at 6 p.m. The program for the evening will be presented by Elizabeth Young of Exclusively Elizabeth. Elizabeth will talk about trends and styles in facial make-up and hair-fashion.
I attended a newcomer's get-together in January with my husband and we both had a swell time meeting new arrivals and sharing in their enthusiasm and excitement for their new home. For more information please contact Lynn DeLange at 731-2398.
Pagosa Players and The King's Men will present a concert reading of "A Comedy of Error" at WolfTracks Coffee Company and Book Store on Saturday, April 8. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Due to size of performance space, only 35 tickets will be sold. I suggest you purchase your tickets early from WolfTracks or the chamber of commerce.
The concert reading of "A Comedy of Errors" will engage 16 members of the Pagosa Players and the King's Men Company. The play's abbreviated format is styled after the Globe Theatre's interpretation of William Shakespeare's play. The Globe Theatre reduced several of Shakespeare's plays from their original length to one that could be easily enjoyed by the whole family without distorting the actual plot, thought and diction of Shakespeare's works. Pagosa Players believe that those who attend the remarkably sophisticated, exuberant little play, "Comedy of Errors," will not only be entertained, they will also learn about Shakespeare's work in a friendly, non-academic venue. Pagosa Players plans to produce the full version of "Comedy of Errors" in the summer of 2001.
Performance space is donated to Pagosa Players by WolfTracks. Ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to United People Help Ministry.
Library opens earlier in morning
We are very pleased to announce that the library will have extended hours thanks to your support of our "de-Brucing" efforts last November.
We asked patrons to tell us what hours would be most helpful and earlier morning hours were mentioned most often.
Here are the new hours, starting immediately: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.; Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Opening early at 8:30 a.m. and staying open most evenings until 6 p.m. should help. This is a very active town, and there are meetings every night of the week. Thursday continues to be the least busy from that aspect.
The extra hours -10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday - were also requested.
Since school gets out on Friday afternoons at 1:30, the library is very quiet late on Friday afternoon. Few people stay around. So we will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
We hope to see you all bright and early and thanks again for your support.
Nancy McInerney is a new part-time member of the staff, and you will soon meet her. Nancy comes to us with a wealth of library experience, and we are very pleased to have her. It's fun to be growing and have such good people on staff. Shirley Iverson, Mary Loudermilk, Cathy Dodt-Ellis and Nancy McInerney - they are a stellar crew ready to help you with your library and information needs. We are all lucky to have them.
Hurry and sign up for a booth for this one-day fun event. Clean out your closets and make a little cash without worrying about the weather. March 18 is the day. We have a few booths left so come in with your $15 booth fee as soon as possible. The money must accompany your registration. This is a Friends of the Library annual activity. This year, it will run from 7 to 11 a.m. Call 264-2209 for more information.
The latest book is "Daughter of Fortune" by Isabelle Allende.
The story is about an orphan raised in the British colony of Valparaiso, Chile, by Victorian spinster Miss Rose and her more rigid brother Jeremy. The story moves to San Francisco and the 1849 gold rush.
Allende has earned a place as one of the world's leading writers.
We're most appreciative of Oprah and the American Library Association for providing books free to us.
We have a post office box right here at the library. You can drop off your mail and your books all at the same time. We thank the post office for putting a box here and we sure want it to get good use.
Just came back from an educational trip to Capitol Hill in Denver.
Had the chance to meet with Jim Dyer and Mark Larson, our two legislators. They represent us well. We truly appreciate the personal attention these two gentlemen give their constituents. It is nice to know that they truly care. I hope you take the time to read their articles in the SUN. Senator Dyer's last article told how the likes of Douglas Bruce can dictate items to be on the ballot that hurt us here on the Western Slope.
Representative Larson's article addresses a critical mental health problem here in our corner of the state. I appreciate the work they both do on our behalf.
Thanks for financial help from the Woman's Civic Club in memory of Terri Smith. Also, a donation from Annette and Louie Byrn. The monies will go to our book fund. Materials came from Cathy Dodt-Ellis, Peggy Shipman, Don Lundergan, Jesse Powe, Sandy Martin, Lee Riley, Mary Ann Davis, Sevedeo Martinez, Martha Johnson, Sylvia Murray, Bill Downey, Bob and Ruth Newlander, Sue Davis, Carol Hakala, Richard Harris, Phyl Daleske, Darla McLean and Janice Klassen.
Whistle Pig night returns Friday
Friday night is another popular Whistle Pig family folk and open mike night. The featured group this month is Buckshot Party, which plays traditional and slightly progressive bluegrass music. The members of Buckshot Party are Clay Campbell, who plays bass and does most of the singing, Randall Davis on banjo, Jeff Hibshman on guitar and Dean Erhard on mandolin. All four have played in the Pagosa area for years in different groups, and they got together to form Buckshot Party about a year go. Whistle Pig is at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, Friday, March 3, at 7 p.m. A $4 donation per adult is suggested, and kids are free.
Did you make it over to Moonlight Books to see the wonderful photography on display? I personally thought the show was great, and I heard people say that the quality of the exhibited work goes up every year.
Well, guess what? A lot of those great photographs are for sale. That's right. Encore, the photography contest display and sale will be at Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery and Gift Shop beginning March 2 - that's today, folks - through March 29.
The gallery is located at Town Park, just south of the stop light. (How many more months will we be able to boast that our town has only one stop light?) Winter hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Pagosa Pretenders, a family-oriented volunteer theater group, is presenting "Arabian Nights," an original adaptation of Scheherazade's tales of 1,001 Nights, on March 10, 11, 17 and 18 at the high school auditorium at 7 p.m. Put it on your calendar now, if you haven't already done so.
Proceeds will be donated to the school district and community. Call Susan Garman at 731-2485 to help or get more information.
The PSAC annual garage sale will be April 15.
That date should be easy to remember. Please start saving your useful stuff now to donate for this fundraiser. If you have any questions or if you need help in transporting items to our gallery, call Phyl Daleske at 731-4589 or the art gallery at 264-5020, and leave your name and number.
Y2K exhibit applications are now available at the art gallery and at Moonlight Books. Call 264-5020 for more details.
Remember, the Arts Council gallery in Town Park is still operating on its winter schedule, Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Seniors get help from 'grandchildren'
Friday was our monthly birthday celebration. Adelina Lobato and Carolyn Hanson were honorees present at the birthday table. Willie Trujillo, Louise Diedring, Mary Standifer, Jimmy and Vernon Day, and Bobby Risinger also celebrated birthdays in February. Happy Birthday to all.
Our "adopted grandchildren," Kate Lister's second grade class, helped us celebrate by presenting a little program and passing out beautiful cards they had made. Kids, you are wonderful. Thanks so much.
We just heard that Tuffy George is hospitalized. We wish her a speedy recovery.
Please note: There will be Community Information Forum, providing benefit information concerning Veterans, their spouses, widows and/or widowers, today at 1:30 p.m. at the Archuleta County Commissioners meeting room in the courthouse.
If you receive income from one of the following programs, you may qualify for a discount on your monthly telephone bill and on new hook up charges: Old Age Pension (OAP), Aid to the Blind (AB), Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND), Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Contact Department of Human Services at (800) 782-0721 for more information on this program.
On a sad note, we have been advised that the Old Age Pension Dental Funds have run out and won't become available again until July 1. Unfortunately, government funding cuts have hurt many of the programs designed to help those most in need of assistance.
We were happy to welcome back Eva Darmopray and Margi Martinez on Friday. We have missed you, ladies. Also, we were honored to have all three of our county commissioners - Gene Crabtree, Bill Downey and Ken Fox - present Friday for both the meal and the Senior Board meeting. Thanks, gentlemen, for taking time out of your busy schedules to visit with us. Ken Fox was also chosen (during our weekly drawing) as Senior of the Week. Congratulations, Ken,
I want to thank Cindy Archuleta Schaupp, director of our Senior Center, for her untiring efforts not only see to day-to-day operations of the Center, but also for the many hours she devotes to getting help for seniors in need of medical assistance (eyeglasses, dental, prescriptions, home modifications/maintenance, etc.), and for the extra effort she extends in trying to obtain grand funds to aid these programs. Few of us realize how much Cindy is doing. She deserves a big pat on the back. Also, I thank Senior Citizen board members (June Nelson, Doris and Bob Kamrath, George Ziegler, Phil Heitz, Teresa Diestelkamp, Wayne Van Hecke, and Gene Copeland) for their efforts to keep this program going and to come up with new ideas to help our senior population.
Thanks to this week's volunteers: June Nelson, Delpha McFatridge, Mae Boughan, Johnny Martinez, Lena Bowden and Lilly Gurule.
Cruse learns new lessons on slope
The snow has come. Hotshot and I have taken to the slopes six or seven times now. For all of you who have inquired, I can get off the chair lift now without falling. Thank you for your concern.
We went up to Wolf Creek Ski Area last week on a Tuesday. For a while it looked as though the clouds would clear, but by mid-morning they closed over and a light snow began. Although there were no bright blue skies, the air was fresh and clean, and the enthusiasm of the people, up here from Texas or New Mexico or wherever, was infectious.
I signed up for another lesson with Lou, who had a new tip for me. "The tip of the day," he said, "is don't look at your ski tips."
And he amended the "speed is your friend" advice that he had given me, since obviously I am reluctant to follow it. Instead, the new word is - Momentum! "Maintain momentum," said Lou.
Until lately, with the scant early snowfall this season, not all the runs were open, because some areas were more grass and rock than snow. The runs I went on, the extra easy ones, were packed and groomed and kind of hard and slick. Maintaining momentum wasn't the problem. Keeping upright was.
Now there is snow, the famous (it is famous, isn't it?) Colorado powder. The day we were at Wolf Creek, it had already snowed off and on for several days. Early in the morning you could hear the muffled boom of the cannons that trigger small avalanches before they become large ones. In the afternoon, Mother Nature was rapidly shaking more powder over the whole area, including the once-groomed runs. Lou took me on a new trail. It was my kind of trail, long and not too steep. Maintain momentum was definitely the order of the day. I learned that powder slows you down. Maintain momentum or stop cold. You'll be walking over to the next slope. Skis don't make good snowshoes.
Maintain momentum or you might do a "face plant." Try getting up in powder after you fall. Hotshot did what he'd been told, planting his poles down into the snow and putting his weight on them. The poles just kept going down and down. Good thing he was holding on to them, or they'd have disappeared.
I didn't maintain enough momentum. Naturally this occurred when a friend on one of the big chair lifts called down to me, "Hey, Katherine!" I lost my concentration, lost the track under the powder, lost my equilibrium and my dignity. It took five tries to get back up. I felt like a bale of hay had been strapped to my back. Lou was afraid he'd have to do the polite and heroic thing and haul me out of there, before I finally achieved verticality. I hope it was a good show for the people riding overhead.
Maintain momentum. You can apply that to a lot of things. It works for me crossing creeks in the high country, with a full pack strapped on. I hate crossing creeks, jumping from one tippy rock to another and trying not to step on the part that's slimy from always being under water. Or balancing my way across a downed tree trunk, bark peeled off, wet and slippery from the muddy boots of the person in front. But, if I focus on where I want to end up, on the far side of the creek, instead of looking just in front of my boots, and if I keep moving toward that goal, keep the momentum going, the operation has a much better chance at success.
Hotshot's a lot better than I am at this momentum thing. He's making incredible progress in learning to ski, because he's tackles increasingly harder challenges at a steady pace. My skiing tends to be of the two steps forward, one step backward variety.
Of course, you can maintain too much momentum, right up to the point where you lose it all. That happened to a big rig truck coming down the pass that snowy afternoon. While most of the road was plowed and sanded or salted or whatever the highway crews do, there was one stretch that had a dusting of snow over a thin film of ice. This was a short distance above the scenic lookout, where the avalanche walls are. The jackknifed truck sprawled across most of the road, the cab hard up against the guard rail and the trailer blocking all but enough space for vehicles to pass one at a time. Two snow plows, one heading uphill and the other down, were stopped beside the truck, and their drivers coordinated the traffic around the behemoth.
The other man standing there must have been the truck driver. I wonder what images went through his mind as his forward momentum shifted sideways, and the guard rail rushed toward him, with a big void beyond.
Farther down the road we passed the highway patrol and a heavy-duty tow truck heading toward the truck. We wondered how they'd ever get the road cleared. A friend later told us, "Oh, that's easy. The tow truck just grabs hold of that truck and hauls it right back up to the top of the pass. And leaves it there." I guess then it's the driver's responsibility to deal with any problems, such as whether his truck can make it down the hill under its own steam.
"And the charge for the tow is not small," continued my friend. I didn't think it was. "And," he added, "the patrolman follows them up the hill. If the driver didn't put chains on, and the sign down below said 'chains required,' the ticket he writes the driver is not small either."
I guess that's what they did with the truck we saw. As for me, my energies are focused on maintaining my own equilibrium and a slow but steady forward momentum, whether I'm driving on winter roads, or skiing, or hiking.
Archuleta County has a new indicator on how conditions and attitudes are changing. Total attendance reached the 625 mark at the seven Archuleta County Community Plan meetings held during February. It is encouraging that 52 persons attended the meeting in Arboles, that 87 were present at the Chimney Rock session and that 60 turned out in Chromo. The two meetings in the county fair building attracted a total of 175 participants. Ninety-six names were on the sign-up sheet at Community United Methodist Church. The meeting in the Pagosa Lakes Community Center had 154 persons in attendance.
Pagosa Springs is no longer an isolated pristine area in southwest Colorado with concerns and conditions that differ from the rest of the state. It is somewhat like the "build it and they will come" concept portrayed in the popular movie Field of Dreams. Like much of Colorado, Pagosa has built up and concerns about controlling growth have come.
With renewed attention being focused on conducting studies and surveys, on identifying common concerns, on comparing likes and dislikes, and on change versus preservation; this year's county commissioners election will be one of the most important elections in the county's history. Or the most important of its future.
Given time, and continued public input, a new plan will be developed in hopes of addressing growth within the county.
It is comfortable to agree with the concept of controlled growth. It is disturbing to be uncertain as to who the individuals are who will handle the controls.
The public's interest and concern about the development of new subdivisions - residential and commercial - and the effective enforcement of subdivision regulations within Archuleta County will be major issues each would-be candidate will need to address.
That's what is so encouraging about the significant attendance at the recent "Vision Into Our Future" meetings. This evident interest in the future of the county should play a significant role during the upcoming process to select the eventual candidates for the two county commissioner positions.
The election should answer the question: What is more important to the voters of Archuleta County, establishing an appropriate balance for growth or protecting an anticipated investment?
David C. Mitchell
I'd rather be a 'grampaw'
It was enjoyable receiving an e-mail Thursday soon after the SUN was on the street and in the local mailboxes.
Nothing is more satisfying than to know that someone besides myself reads what I write. Even if it's an e-mail or a note to say that what I write is wrong.
By 2:46 p.m. last Thursday, Lee Paige had the following e-mail winging in my direction: "Like 'media,' 'criteria' are plural. Like 'medium,' 'criterion' is singular. We old professors can't help but nag about such things. While I'm at it, let's be sure: 'phenomena' are plural, phenomenons' is singular. Must I go on?"
No not really. My young professors taught me to become accustomed to such corrections.
A trying-to-be editor who spent too much time in different stadia while thinking he had been in different stadiums needs and appreciates such corrections.
My first thought was: "Did I write about a criteria?" Then I remembered using, actually misusing the word in Dear Folks.
My second thought was: "This is the type of mistake Mrs. Feazel used to faithfully bring to my attention with her many notes. I really miss her notes."
So it was a tremendously pleasant surprise when a small envelope appeared on my desk Tuesday. The return label stated: "Elizabeth T. Feazel. . . ."
The enclosed note succinctly stated: "Years have passed since I communicated to an editor my grammatical observations, so you may feel insulted or privileged.
"In your ''Dear Folks' last week you wrote about 'another criteria.' Did you intend 'criterion?'
"So much sloppy English going around everywhere. Keep it out of the SUN!
"Now are you insulted or amused?
"Your faithful reader,
Insulted or amused? Far from it. It made my day.
Mrs. Feazel's note was more welcome than any Colorado Press Association award.
It brought back many wonderful memories of years past. There is no irregardless. It is simply regardless. Don't use that when referring to people, use who. People refers to an ethnic group, nation, race. . . . Persons is a group of individuals.
Her many notes were never an insult. Like the awards, they served as an incentive to pay attention to the task at hand. To work at my work. To aim at doing better. To not let tiredness bury details.
Tuesday morning, for the first time in a long time, I didn't feel like a stranger in a strange land.
I wish I could associate a face with Lee Paige's name. I can't. So many folks live in Pagosa now that I can't keep track of all of them.
It is a tremendous disappointment. I know Pagosa has not changed. It still attracts many wonderful, interesting generous individuals. I know I am missing out by not getting to know them all and benefiting from their friendship.
It's discouraging and embarrassing, but much like proper grammar, being able to keep names straight with the appropriate face has never been my forte. Yes, I just looked forte up in my dictionary. Knowing my weaknesses is one of my strengths. So I'm never insulted by anyone who takes the time to correct my grammar or my misuse of a homonym.
While I'm not a grammarian, I am a new "grampaw." Like the SUN, Peyton David Mitchell was delivered (to Jennifer, Dan and Macey, in Gilroy, California,) on February 10, 2000.
So hopefully this morning we're flying out of Durango on a circuitous flight to San Jose.
The Gilroy garlic will clear my nose. Holding Peyton and Macey will fill my heart. My practical approach to grandparenting will increase the sales of Huggie disposable diapers.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers. David
Madrid appointed to town board
Taken from SUN files
of March 6, 1975
Edward "Butch" Madrid was appointed to fill a long-standing vacancy on the town board. This will give the board a full membership of six trustees and the mayor. Madrid fills the vacancy created when W.H. Diestelkamp resigned last year.
Gayle Broadbent has assumed the duties as secretary of the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce. She replaces Kerry Dermody who will soon be moving to South America. Broadbent will be writing the Chamber of Commerce News for the SUN in the future.
Chief Leonard Gallegos said the town police made three arrests on charges of possession of marijuana in February. Gallegos also said that the snow is now gone along the east side of Main Street, parking meters are in the process of being repaired, and that strict enforcement of the meters is now underway.
Representatives of the Soil Conservation Service, local Soil Conservation District and the county commissioners met last week to sign important documents on preliminary plans for the improvement of Trujillo Road and for landscaping at Stevens Field. It is the first time such documents have been signed by SCD officials other than in Denver.
Gag men produce cartoons in a madhouse
Always a fan of the artistic talents of the Harman family, I read with interest a 1932 SUN item which, in turn, referred to a Los Angeles Times column. We are all familiar with Fred Harman of Red Ryder fame, but this particular story referred to less well-known Harmans, Hugh and Walker. According to this news item, Hugh was the second son of Fred Harman. Hugh's younger brother was Walker. Both brothers were artists.
It was reported that the Pagosa natives had been involved in cartoon work in Hollywood for several years, but most recently had their own studio along with Rudolf Ising. Warner Bros. handled the distribution of Bosko, Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes.
Lee Shippey, of the L.A. Times, spent a day at the Harman-Ising studio. He reported his first impressions. He was pleased to find "it wasn't a singing school, but merely a madhouse. Reassured by that discovery, we decided to stay awhile and see what happened."
And so we'll join Shippey as he entered the cartoon world. "As we entered, unobserved, one fellow was hopping around on one foot, strumming an imaginary musical instrument and singing: 'Plink teedle-dink, teedle-dink-dink-dink! Plink teedle-ooo-do-do! Another who seemed to fancy himself an Indian, was about to do a little fancy scalping, and a couple more were dashing to the rescue. It looked like a swell fight, but abruptly the combatants stopped and sat around a table.
" 'That's the way we want the scene,' said one. 'Now we want five good gags to go with it. Get busy, gag man.'
"It was the story room, in which Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and their assistants devise stories for Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, and stunts for Bosko, their favorite character, to perform.
" 'The original animated cartoons,' Harman said, 'relied on trick stuff and utter impossibility for their laughs. Now we try to build real stories which, though still fairy stories, progress logically. We mix it a good deal as a housewife mixes a cake - one character to delight children and arouse their sympathy, six ludicrous mishaps which all tend to bring about the happy ending, twenty gags to the reel. As we know that twenty-four squares, or scenes, of film go through the projection machine in a second, we can time our music or sound accompaniment to precisely fit the action, especially when actors speak or play. Then the head artist, who really is the acting director, confers with the music director and the dancing director."
And so it turns out that a cartoon receives the same close attention to detail that any film might. I'll never look at a Looney Tunes or Merrie Melodies cartoon the same again.
Goodies come with being old
Now that I'm here, I'm determined to fit the mold, to do well.
I became old several months ago.
The transformation began when I turned fifty. From that point on, for more than three years, the pressure was relentless.
I resisted. At first, I was strong, immovable. But, the pressure increased; no matter how determined I was, it kept coming. I was like a sandbar pounded by insistent waves. I eroded.
I should have known I would not endure; I had seen it happen before. I had friends who tried to resist and, one by one, they surrendered. They swore they would not capitulate, but they did. I watched strong people crumble.
Then, it was my turn. I was cajoled, intimidated, brow-beat. The purveyors of the insidious and incessant attack used clever arguments to confuse me, lured me with promises, sweet visions. They used math to assault me: actuarial tables, IRA projections, statistics. I have a ferocious case of ADD and math is extremely disorienting, a force that quickly degrades my composure.
I held out for three years. Finally, I buckled. The fight was over.
I joined the AARP.
It was official: I was old.
I made the transition under duress. I was convinced no one, except children, deserves anything simply because they are a certain age. Living to an arbitrarily defined old age does not entitle anyone to privileges, I thought. Age does not signal necessary wisdom or skill; we see ample evidence of that every day. A relatively long life means only that a person is blessed with genetic potential and has luck on his or her side - avoiding, for the meantime, the accidents or illnesses that spell doom.
Well, according to my peers at the AARP, I was wrong. Now that I am old, they contend, I am due all sorts of goodies and I must refocus my perspective on life.
I am a different kind of person! I must learn to enjoy it.
The flood of information that followed my membership educated me to the nature of life in the twilight years, and I've made admirable progress changing my attitude. Once I surrendered to the siren song of the AARP, a new world opened wide.
Within three weeks of signaling my willingness to join the cult of the old, I received my AARP card, indelibly marking my metamorphosis and providing the evidence I need to get a break on motel bills. Each day brings a fistful of fliers crammed in my mailbox, advertising dramatic old-guy insurance rates for home and auto, astonishing low prices on riding lawnmowers.
My special old person magazine began to arrive at the mailbox every month, full of articles reminding me I am still vital, still creative, still a scamp at heart. We are, says the magazine, still able to feel the primal pull of fleshly romance - and able to do something about it! This is welcome news.
I discovered there are places where I can live with people of like age and like minds, in comfort. The magazine contains pages of ads for real estate in sunny climes, for "retirement assisted living communities" in Florida and Arizona; some in North Carolina, of all places! These compounds (or "camps", if you will) are gated, and monitored by private K-9 security forces to provide cozy inmates with the illusion that the barbarians waiting to steal their appliances and cheap jewelry are at a safe distance. Each of the communities is color-coordinated, with no noise after 8 p.m. and no large dogs allowed inside the gates. Property values are secure. You are with your own kind.
Apparently, I must learn to play golf. And bridge.
It is ordained that I make objects with clay and take trips on a mini-bus to visit the aquarium and to tour the local water treatment facility. You are never too old to learn - that's what I learned as I read my magazine.
I had no idea that skidding into the Golden Years could be so reassuring, so attractive, so productive.
Then, the catalogs began to arrive at the door. I am well-equipped for the best years of my life.
Scanning my catalogs, I understand there is no need for me to suffer from rough, dry skin on my heels. . .ever again!
I can reduce my double chin, without surgery.
There is built-in protection with a moisture-proof panel. How many youngsters know that?
I can remove my pills from certain types of pesky packaging with a special plastic tool. The tool fits on a key ring, and the key ring has a small but powerful light at the tip for use on those rare occasions when I stay out after dark.
An illuminated magnifier will allow me to read the small print on a jar full of highly-concentrated oil from a rare tropical tree - an oil that fights fungus and bacteria. Apparently, as you age, you host more and more fungi and bacteria. I worry about the odor of fungi and bacteria, but there are sprays available to deal with the problem.
Hemorrhoids? The device looks ominous, medieval, but once it's packed with ice . . .
If I have documents or papers I fear will be stolen by oddly-dressed teenaged thugs (or by neer-do-well relatives eager to rifle my investment portfolio), I can use my industrial-grade paper shredder to make sure vital information doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
Use of a rotary nose hair clipper will circumvent an embarrassing situation at the monthly square dance.
Maximum hernia support is available for as little as $29.95. Again, there will be no problems at the square dance.
There are stylish leather shoes that are as comfortable as slippers, if you can believe that! Worn with the amazing 18-inch support socks, these babies allow for hours of square dancing. Hours of supported, trussed, hairless, square dancing.
You can get two hats in one for double protection. Wear the hat while you use the jumbo lint shaver.
I never gave it much thought when I was a kid, but now I am a member of the AARP and privy to the arcane knowledge of the elders, I realize it will be hard to get along without a raised toilet seat. At least a six-incher, tinted an eye-pleasing mint green, with easy-to-grasp support handles. I've got my eye on one of these beauties, plus a multi-wheel rolling cart with a removable basket and pressure-sensitive brakes. I'll need the cart to move to the dais when I'm elected chairman of my retirement assisted living community's covenant control committee. I intend to spearhead a move to ban Dutch-style doors from the complex. Once you are mature, you recognize the danger of diversity. Someone must step forward and man the battlement against the cancer of disorder and change.
After gobbling ten 750-milligram caps of glucosamine with chondroitin, I'll prepare breakfast in my kitchenette, free of joint pain. I'll follow one of the many delightful recipes printed each month in my old person's magazine. Perhaps, when I sit down on my orthopedic cushion in front of my snappy new TV tray, I'll flick on one or two of my AA battery-powered blackout lanterns in order to better illuminate my food.
What will I prepare?
Well, since I am old, I want nothing more than to grow older. I would hate to blink out prematurely, allowing mobs of unruly people from a lower income bracket to pilfer the treasures I've accumulated, or to raid my domicile and damage my simulated pecan wood paneling, thus lowering my property value. As a result, I will not prepare anything too rich, too fatty, too heavy, too laden with protein. In short, I will not make anything the young Karl (the pre-AARP Karl) would have enjoyed.
The young whippersnapper Karl would spend an afternoon laboring over polenta with sausage and sage butter, squandering precious time stirring the corn meal as it thickens, smoothing it into a loaf pan, refrigerating it until it is hard, then cutting it and sauteing the slices in olive oil. The youthful Karl would make his own sausage, grind and mix the pork and pork fat, season the meat with garlic, bay leaf, fennel seed, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and wine. He would cook the sausage and mix it with the polenta before it is cooled. He would make a sauce of butter, garlic and fresh sage, a bit of salt and pepper.
Not the new old Karl, the member of the AARP. While endowed with abundant energy and a fierce curiosity about life (so says the magazine), the new old Karl is careful with his seconds, his minutes, his hours, his days.
I'll whip up a heaping bowl of gruel, fortified with a massive load of insoluble wood fiber. If the old raised toilet seat is going to get a workout, it's going to be a major workout! I'll use my pedometer to measure the distance from the kitchenette to the bathroom. I imagine I'll be make several trips each day. Walking is great exercise for older folks.
Actually, I can eat anything I want. With my miracle waistband expander, I can "adjust" the waist of my pants up to 56 inches. If need be, I can reduce the size of my bustline with a minimizer bra with slightly padded shoulder straps. It's unisex and machine washable.
Despite my initial resistance and negative preconceptions, this AARP thing is pretty neat. As an official oldie, I'm beginning to scope the possibilities inherent in a world put here just for me. I'm so excited about the future; I'm ready to cool the jets at work. After all, the R in AARP stands for "retired."
Now, at the start of each new day, I put magnetic soles in my slipper-like shoes, brush away the gray, strap on my space-age posture support corset, check the batteries on my watch-style blood pressure monitor that quickly and accurately assesses the state of my circulatory system, put on my wrap-around sun glasses for maximum protection against harmful ultraviolet rays, check my pocket for my Safe-at Last stun gun, and head for the office, happy I am on the cusp of retirement.
If some scruffy kid drives past me with his radio blaring chaotic and unintelligible aboriginal "music" I use my first-response cellular phone to call 911 and have the lout apprehended. Emergency numbers are programmed into the phone, for quick and easy access, and we seniors don't have to cotton to rabble. Perhaps a dose of court-ordered public service will drum some sense into the little freak.
After a half day at the office - more than enough time on the job for a senior citizen - a work day sprinkled with phone calls to 800 numbers to order more items necessary for my dotage, I drive home at 25 miles-per-hour (better safe than sorry) and prepare the evening meal: Cream of Wheat with microwaved cellulose cutlets.
After dinner, the little lady and I sit on our matching recliners with the plush armrest covers (they feel like real sheepskin and have a double pocket to hold our television guides, our remote controls and our crafts supplies). I switch on the tube and turn up the volume to the 120-decibel level and we check out Lawrence Welk reruns on PBS. That Bobby and Cissy are really something, don't you think? Back in the old days, Bobby was a Mouseketeer. And need I say more than two words, just three simple syllables: Myron Florn.
At 8:30, we turn in and - if I remember to take a capsule containing ginseng, yohimbe, bee pollen and a superhuman dose of saw palmetto - who knows what might happen!
When I reach up and switch off our 10,000-hour light bulb and the electric blanket begins to heat up the waterproof bed pad, I lie in the dark, an ancient, fulfilled, and happy guy.
This being old thing isn't half bad; I can't figure why I resisted. Now that I'm a member of the AARP, the horizon line is inching its way toward me, but the remaining terrain is full of wonderful and exciting opportunities.
If you've just turned fifty and you're receiving those invitations to join the AARP, take my word for it: don't hesitate. Don't waste one glorious moment of your time as an old person resisting the inevitable. Come on over to our side.
You get a discount at Denny's.
Brief history of Wolf Creek Pass
By John M. Motter
"Wolf Creek Pass, way up on the Great Divide." So begins a country western song popular during the 1970s. And so, how did Wolf Creek Pass become the main crossing of the Southern San Juan Mountains, or the Conejos Range as the old timers called them?
J.E. Maloney, chief engineer for the state highway department back in the years when Wolf Creek Pass was conceived, then constructed, leaves us the following, first person account.
"In describing the location of the Wolf Creek Pass road, and the incidents which lead up to it, I begin with the first trip the State Highway Commission made over the range in 1910. In that year, during the month of July, Messrs. Allen, Tully, and myself made a trip from Denver by way of Tennessee Pass, Grand Junction, Montrose to Placerville, Naturita, and to the West and South of Lone Cone to Dolores, thence to Mancos, Durango, Pagosa Springs to the junction of the East and West Forks of the San Juan River, up the East Fork road which was a traveled road at that time, and on up over Timber Hill.
"We were compelled to put up at the foot of Timber Hill over night, obtaining a span of mules the next day to help us over Timber Hill. From the top of Timber Hill, we went to Elwood Pass, then down the Alamosa River into the San Luis Valley, thence to Alamosa. This strip of road, the East Fork of the San Juan River to the top of Elwood Pass, contained a great many stretches of very steep grades, especially the grade up Timber Hill.
"In 1911 flood washed this section of road out from the base of Timber Hill to the junction of the San Juan River. There was much discussion as to the rebuilding of this road, many routes being proposed, the people of the Southwest corner of the state being very much interested in having an outlet to the East, and were pushing this outlet.
"Mr. Herr, who was a member of the State Highway Advisory Board at that time, was a resident of Durango, and he and Senator West and others were active in urging the rebuilding of the connection from the San Juan Basin to the San Luis Valley.
"The first State Highway designated by the Highway Advisory Board followed the line of the East Fork of the San Juan River to the top of Elwood Pass, thence down the Alamosa River to a connection with Road 15, thence on to Alamosa. This was afterwards changed so as to read - the West Fork of the San Juan River to Wolf Creek Pass to the top of the Divide, and the connecting road was declared from the top of the Divide down to meet the Alamosa-Creede road at South Fork, which is the present location.
"Surveys were started by a man from Alamosa who was unfortunately killed while surveying the East Fork of the San Juan River.
"In March of 1913, the State Highway Advisory Board organized a Construction Committee consisting of Messrs. Fred Catchpole, County Commissioner of Archuleta County, Liege Morse, County Commissioner of Alamosa County, and R. Chisholm, County Commissioner of Rio Grande County. This committee was in charge of the work, getting surveys completed, and construction work started on the Elwood Pass Road. These men were assisted by W.W. Reilly, Civil Engineer of Monte Vista, and his assistants. In company with this Construction Committee and their engineers, we made trips over the proposed routes from Alamosa to Elwood Pass, down to Timber Hill, and skirting around Silver Creek to get distance enough to build a grade down on the East Fork of the San Juan River; also along the crest of the Divide from Elwood Pass to Bonita Pass to the base of Silver Pass, around Treasure Mountain to the top of Windy Gap, thence on to the base of Windy Gap hill to the road along the West Fork of the San Juan River; and from the top of the Divide, East down the fork on the Rio Grande River to South Fork, connecting with the Alamosa-Creede road at that point.
"At a meeting on April 15th, 1914, the State Highway Advisory Board had under discussion the Elwood Pass Road, and took the following action:
"In the matter of the Elwood Pass road, we have taken this matter up with the present Board of Construction and with the County Commissioners of Rio Grande and Mineral counties. The present Board of Construction desires to continue in office, and finish the road. A Senator West and Mr. Reilly, and the matter of the construction of the road was discussed, but no definite arrangements made. We will take this matter up further with Mr. Herr and the present Construction Board, and arrive at some definite conclusion.
"Shortly after this, Mr. Erhart, State Highway Commissioner, instructed me to meet with the Construction Board at Alamosa, and go over the several locations proposed with them, and after making investigations of the different routes, to decide upon the location of the road before coming back to office.
"Following these instructions I went with the Construction Board during the months of June and July, over the surveys that had been made, and in July took a trip from Pagosa Springs up the West Fork of the San Juan River to Elmer Chapson's ranch. Mr. Chapson outfitted us with horses and pack animals, and we made the trip. Mr. Wyman of Silverton, who at that time was Supervisor for the State Highway Department, accompanied us.
"We started from the West Fork of the San Juan River, climbed the hill to Windy Gap, and from that point we followed the survey line around the base of Treasure Mountain, Mr. Chapson taking his horses and camping outfit over the top of Treasure Mountain. Mr. Wyman and myself made our way around the base of the mountain, and the following night we camped in the vicinity of Silver Pass.
"The following morning we made our way to the top of the Mesa, and joined Mr. Chapson and the outfit. We then proceeded to Silver Pass, thence from Silver Pass to the South Fork of the Rio Grande River. We made this trip the latter part of July, 1914, camping on Treasure Mountain. We then went down to Box Canyon of the South Fork. Coming back, we left South Fork and went over Pass Creek, up the trail to the headwaters of Wolf Creek Pass on top of the Divide - from there, we intended to go back to Windy Gap, thence down to the country road on the West Fork of the San Juan River.
"However, upon arriving at the head of Wolf Creek Pass, I asked Mr. Chapson the name of the creek, and if there was a trail down we could travel with horses. He said there was not; that if we wanted to go down, we would have to take the horses around another way. Mr. Wyman and I left him at that point early in the morning and started down Wolf Creek Pass on foot. I had an aneroid barometer with me which gave us approximate altitudes and by timing ourselves going down we could make some approximation as to the fall of the creek. Climbing up and down the canyon and over fallen timbers we reached the West Fork of the San Juan about 5:30 p.m. Then we walked to Chapson's house for supper. That evening we met with the Construction Committee at Pagosa Springs, and discussed the various routes.
"There was considerable differences of opinion, but I strongly advised the selection of the Wolf Creek route, and a survey to determine its feasibility. We started W.W. Reilly on the survey and this route was finally determined upon.
"From the top of the headwaters of Wolf Creek Pass, we went down to the South Fork of the Rio Grande River, following that stream into the town of South Fork, joining the main road from Alamosa to Creede, following along the main road through the towns of Del Norte, Monte Vista, to Alamosa.
"There was not a great difference in the mileage of the various routes. There was a considerable difference in the estimated cost. However, the primary consideration leading to the selection of the road up the Rio Grande and over Wolf Creek Pass was that the road would serve the other communities along the line, and give us a good connection to the San Luis Valley at reasonable cost.
"Another advantage in the selection of the Wolf Creek Pass road was that it was several hundred feet lower in elevation than Elwood Pass; and 300 feet lower than Bonita Pass, and about the same elevation as Silver Pass.
"It is interesting to note that the D.&R.G.W.R.R. Co., in their surveys for the broad gauge connection from the San Luis Valley to the San Juan Basin, ran their line up this same South Fork, crossing Silver Pass, and dropping to the West Fork of the San Juan River.
"Construction work was started on the West side of the Wolf Creek road, and prosecuted as vigorously as available funds would permit during the next two seasons; and the work was sufficiently advanced so that opening ceremonies took place on August 21, 1916. With the funds available, of course, the road was narrow, and there were a few steep grades and sharp turns."
And so, Wolf Creek Pass, a route never used during pioneer times, became the main route connecting the San Juan Basin with the San Luis Valley and eastern Colorado.
Pat Kahn owns and operates Victoria's Parlor, at 274 Pagosa Street.
Victoria's Parlor is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with luncheon served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fresh soups, cinnamon rolls and scones are made daily. Sandwiches are served on freshly baked breads and croissants. The luncheon menu includes eight salads and a new quiche is featured each day. Ice creams, cheesecakes, pies and cookies are available, as are European teas and coffees.
High tea, after 3 p.m., can be scheduled by reservation only. Evening parties can be arranged.
Call 264-0204 for information and to make reservations.